Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Betsy-Tacy Treasury

Author: Maud Hart Lovelace
Illustrated by Lois Lenski
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Rating: Highly Recommended

About Betsy-Tacy:
There are lots of children on Hill Street, but no little girls Betsy’s age. So when a new family moves into the house across the street, Betsy hopes they will have a little girl she can play with. Sure enough, the moment Betsy meets Tacy, one of the most heartfelt friendships in all of children’s literature begins.
The Betsy-Tacy Treasury brings together the first four books in Maud Hart Lovelace’s classic series: Betsy-Tacy; Betsy, Tacy and Tib; Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill; and Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown.

Tracing the girls’ lives from early childhood to the brink of adolescence, Lovelace illuminates their innocent, mischievous fun and their eye-opening adventures exploring the world around them—from the stories Betsy spins from their neighborhood bench and the sand stores they run in their backyards, to their first experiences at the library, the thrill of the theater, and the sight of their first automobile.

The Treasury includes forewords by Judy Blume, Ann M. Martin, and Johanna Hurwitz.

Take a journey to the past with this nostalgic read!  Whether you’ve loved Betsy-Tacy all your life or you’re just being introduced, this collection of novels brings an enjoyable and comfortable essence to your reading experience.  The collection includes the first four novels written by Maud Hart Lovelace in 1940.  Reading the Betsy-Tacy Treasury was like reading “Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret” or playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid.  It reminded me of the pencils I loved as a little girl, you could buy them at book fairs, they were mechanical in the sense that you changed the tip and smelled like whatever flavor was represented on the writing unit.  Books like the Nancy Drew mystery series, American Girl collection and Beverly Cleary novels are remembered in the nostalgic and timeless way that Betsy-Tacy is remembered.  What I love about literature is its ability to surpass generational differences.  Though the first book in this collection was published in 1940, it is still a wonderful read for children today.  My five year old daughter enjoyed these stories as I read them aloud to her.  The novels are something her great grandmother, grandmother and mother can all enjoy with her.   It’s simply priceless. 

The Betsy-Tacy Treasury is full of fun, humor, applicable life lessons and history.  There were multiple sections that peaked my daughter’s interest since life has changed since Betsy’s days.  In a time period that does not include the technological advances of today; I was able to enjoy the simplicity of the era while enjoying how different our world has become in the last 60 years or so.  I enjoyed the timeless stories of childhood that make up this treasury.  Betsy and her friends have fun and adventure with their imaginations along the road of life.  Whoever you are, whatever your age, these books are great reads.  Simplistic and enjoyable, The Betsy-Tacy collection is sure to be part of your library for generations to come.

About the Author:
Maud Hart Lovelace was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. Like Betsy, Maud followed her mother around the house at age five asking such questions as “How do you spell ‘going down the street’?” for the stories she had already begun to write. Soon she was writing poems and plays. When Maud was ten, a booklet of her poems was printed; and by age eighteen, she had sold her first short story, for ten dollars, to the Los Angeles Times.
The Hart family left Mankato shortly after Maud’s high school graduation in 1910. They settled in Minneapolis, where Maud attended the University of Minnesota. In 1914, she sailed for Europe, and spent the months leading up to the outbreak of World War I in England. In 1917, she married Delos W. Lovelace, a newspaper reporter who later became a popular writer of short stories, and in 1926 her first novel was published. Five more historical novels followed. Maud wrote two of them in collaboration with her husband.
The Lovelaces’ daughter Merian was born in 1931. Maud would tell her daughter bedtime stories about her childhood in Minnesota and it was these stories that gave the author the idea of writing the Betsy-Tacy books. Maud did not intend to write an entire series when Betsy-Tacy, the first book, was published in 1940. But readers asked for more stories, so Maud took Betsy through high school and beyond college to the “great world” and marriage.
The Betsy-Tacy books were based closely upon Maud’s own life. Almost all of Betsy’s experiences were also Maud’s. “Of course, I could make it all up, but in these Betsy-Tacy stories, I love to work from real incidents,” Maud wrote.
Maud Hart Lovelace died on March 11, 1980. But her legacy lives on in the beloved series she created and in her legion of fans, many of whom are members of the Betsy-Tacy Society, a national organization based in Mankato.
Find out about the Betsy-Tacy convention in 2012 and the Betsy-Tacy Society.

Tour the Betsy Tacy House:

Highly Recommended

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